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Linus Holm, Johan Eriksson, Linus Andersson; Looking as if you know: Systematic object inspection precedes object recognition. Journal of Vision 2008;8(4):14. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/8.4.14.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Sometimes we seem to look at the very object we are searching for, without consciously seeing it. How do we select object relevant information before we become aware of the object? We addressed this question in two recognition experiments involving pictures of fragmented objects. In Experiment 1, participants preferred to look at the target object rather than a control region 25 fixations prior to explicit recognition. Furthermore, participants inspected the target as if they had identified it around 9 fixations prior to explicit recognition. In Experiment 2, we investigated the influence of semantic knowledge in guiding object inspection prior to explicit recognition. Consistently, more specific knowledge about target identity made participants scan the fragmented stimulus more efficiently. For instance, non-target regions were rejected faster when participants knew the target object's name. Both experiments showed that participants were looking at the objects as if they knew them before they became aware of their identity.
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